Content of the material
275: A Spectacular Advance, Featuring Professor Mark Noble!
Dr. Mark Noble integrates basic neuroscience with TEAM-CBT, and argues that TEAM, and especially the Daily Mood Log (DML), selectively re-wires the specific circuits that trigger depression and anxiety.
The Bullet Journal Mood Tracker
One such easy and simple tool is known as the Bullet Journal Mood Tracker.
The name itself ‘bullet’ readily suggests what to expect from this process: clarity, organization, and effectiveness.
And the fact that creating such a tracker can be done by the individual suggests there is a lot of autonomy for the person, as they can monitor exclusively the items most applicable to them.
In many ways, it’s a part planner, as the person lists the activities they want or need to accomplish, but also part journal, as the emotions and feelings for that day can be identified.
The relationship between the activities and the emotions felt at the end of the day is what provides the data for pattern observations.
This bullet journal system was developed by Ryder Carroll, a Brooklyn-based designer. The inspiration was to provide a rapid logging process, which takes less time and effort than traditional long handwritten entries.
Carroll identifies the following building blocks of the process:
- Topics and Pages – help to easily identify the material that will be covered, with a short and simple title, as well as page numbers.
- Bullets – organize the actions and entries into: tasks, events, and notes.
- Tasks – marked by a dot, describe the work to be done. Using symbols identify the status of that task, for example: X – task completed; > – task migrated;< – task scheduled.
- Events – identified by an O, show date-related occurrences, which can range from a positive social event to a negative personal encounter. The key is to keep the description as objective as possible (at least at this step of the process).
- Notes – represented by a dash “-“. Here more details can be provided about the above topics. These can include facts, thoughts, ideas, and observations.
- Signifiers – any additional symbols that can provide more emotions, and thoughts regarding the entries. For example, * – can represent urgent tasks; ! – can provide inspirational or important information; an eye – can show things that require further research, or discovery.
Once the organizational components have been crafted, individuals can move towards the Modules, which consist of:
- Index – a repository of topics featured in the journal, with their relevant pages.
- Future Log – items to be done or completed in the coming months.
- Monthly Log – a bird’s-eye view of actions/events coming up that month.
- Daily Log – things to do for that day. Can be done the day of, or the night before. (Carroll, 2018)
Due to the flexible nature of such journals, the focus areas can differ from person to person, based on immediate needs, long-term goals, and other interests. Some common themes include: a daily log; a habit tracker (diet, sleep, physical activity, social life, and even stress levels); a mood tracker to identify the emotions and things that triggered it (ex: sadness, triggered by upsetting news, or personal events); and thoughts (ex: mantras; advise; interesting facts).
The information collected in the journal can remain private for personal use and analysis, or it can be shared with a mental health care provider (when appropriate and comfortable for the client). (Wong, 2017)
034: Live Session (Mark) — Methods Phase, contd. (Part 6)
Part 4—A = Paradoxical Agenda Setting (PAS, cont’d As the session continues, Jill and David encourage Mark to develop his list of positives. Mark draws a blank at first. This is very common among patients and therapists alike. Most of us have not been trained to think about depression, anxiety, shame, defectiveness, hopelessness and anger as […]
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A Take-Home Message
The mind can be a tricky thing to manage. In some moments it cooperates, and in others, it runs loose. Being more understanding of these changing emotions, and approaching them with curiosity, can make a big difference in the coping habits we utilize to deal with such ranging highs and lows.
There are many tools available at our fingertips that can empower us to take charge of our lives, simply by just noticing how we feel, and what triggered these feelings. With minimal time and effort, we can start taking note of the emotional patterns and adjust ourselves accordingly to the data that emerges.
At the end of the day, no one can take responsibility for our lives, but ourselves.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Self Compassion Exercises for free.
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